Existing While Black: The Fatigue Of Fear

The variety in which Black Americans can be accosted by the police has made it literally hard to exist in our skin. Is fear fatigue the next issue we have to look out for?

Before school & work, my daughter and I would go on vigorous walks every mornings. This was our way of getting some exercise and getting the blood flowing for a full days effort. Safety was never a concern. That is, until I heard about Corey Dickerson and his police run-in while simply running.

After watching this ridiculous exchange of a Black man just trying to get a jog in and the overly aggressive police, those walks have been cancelled until further notice. Instead of being tired from an invigorating jog, the fatigue from viewing police brutality videos is setting in. The sad, long list of excuses used by law enforcement for violating the civil rights of Black Americans has reached critical mass in 2015, with the advantage of being caught of tape having mixed results for the victims.

What else could be expected? Our society has bred a general contempt for Black people. Brothas and sistas can end up being perpetrators of this self-hate shtick. Black pain has been advertised as the Beluga caviar of human agony, and some Americans are willing to pay with their soul to be able to gawk at it. The reason I even know about the case of Warren Beatty and his icea tea arrest was because a former co-worker gleefully insisted that I watch the video, having enjoyed the body slam for some reason.


There’s also a trolling reaction that accompanies every attempt to draw attention to our plights. You can always count on seeing an “All Lives” response show up at any Black Lives Matter event. Peruse the comment section of practically any article written about systematic racism and find a stunning array of vile accusations about our community. If one finally becomes ready to speak up on perceived racism, an accusation of playing the race card is replied. Those unaffected can shut down the conversation with indifference. Faith in things ever improving begins to wane, as well as faith in humanity.

The only way to combat fear fatigue is to take it one day at at time. Taking my own advice, I mentioned to my daughter that we’d keep getting up in the mornings and go jog on good days. After all, when you allow the invisible specter of doubt cause you to stop doing the things that make life worth living, then you’ve effectively given up on happiness. Considering what could be waiting on any of us on any given day, we can’t afford to give up.

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